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Confusing Memories for Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition
  • Paula T Hertel, Trinity University
  • Alice Narvaez, Trinity University
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Emotion portrayed nonverbally in videotaped conversations impaired memory for the specific meaning of utterances. Subjects produced more recognition (Experiment 1) or recall (Experiment 2) errors that were consistent with the emotional versions they had viewed than errors reflecting other emotions. In Experiment 1, this effect on recognition memory depended neither on the type of orienting task for nonverbal behaviors (attention to surface characteristics vs. interpretations) nor on the length of the retention interval. In Experiment 2, the number of emotional errors in recall was slightly dependent on the reported moods of the viewers. These and other outcomes suggest that emotional interpretations of the nonverbal behaviors of others are associated in memory with the meaning of utterances. We discuss the results in reference to the effects of misleading information and to models of mood and memory

Document Object Identifier (DOI)
American Psychological Association
Citation Information
Hertel, P.T., & Narvaez, A. (1986). Confusing memories for verbal and nonverbal communication.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 50(3), 474-481. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.50.3.474